Rower Ray Carroll was celebrating his team's smashing of a 114-year-old record for crossing the Atlantic last night — with a pint of Guinness.
It took the four-man team 43 days to row from New York to the Scilly Isles in the UK in their 23-foot boat, beating the previous record by 11 days.
The Galway man (33) is ecstatic after their performance.
“It's just fantastic. It is the stuff of dreams,” he said. “When we were arriving in, 150 boats came to greet us.”
But he admitted there were some tough times, especially when he fell overboard during a storm.
“It was about a week into the row and we hit very rough waters. I was tethered to the boat. Luckily the lads got me out,” he said.
There have been 30 attempts at the record, which have resulted in eight deaths.
The team also included Don Lennox (41) from Glasgow, Livar Nysted (39) from the Faroe Islands and skipper Leven Brown (37) from Edinburgh. They left New York on June 17 and arrived in the Isles of Scilly yesterday.
The previous record of 55 days and 13 hours was set in 1896 by two Norwegian fishermen.
A rower since he was 11, Mr Carroll said he had always been “mucking about” in the water in Salthill, where he grew up.
He trained as a marine engineer in Cork, graduating in 1998. He spent time in the Merchant Navy and now works at Irish Ferries.